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The Little Ships: The Heroic Rescue at Dunkirk in World War II

by Louise Borden
Illustrated by Michael Forman

Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books, 1997
32 pages
ISBN: 0689808275

Ages 8-12

In 1940, I lived with my father in the town of Deal, on the Kent coast of England, safe from the thunder of the Germans' guns in France. Some days in May I could hear it, rolling in big booms across the English Channel. Some days I could feel it, rattling the glass in the windows on our street." So writes a girl who climbed into her brother's clothes and then--unbidden--onto her father's fishing boat to become part of the "motley group of ships," an armada crossing the Channel to rescue the British soldiers trapped on the sandy beaches of France. Thousands of soldiers were saved by that now legendary civilian armada. Fright, drama and simple heroics are described almost poetically by a girl looking all the while for her brother John but seeing, instead, the horrific details of an army in retreat. Foreman's watercolors vividly expand the first person narrative, while the overall design of the volume adds urgency. An author's note provides facts about this historic effort and an excerpt from Winston Churchill's June 4 speech to Parliament--welcome reality from pages otherwise too amazing to be believed. CCBC categories: Historical People, Places and Events; Fiction for Children; Picture Books.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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